Effective ways to stop dogs barking are few and far between. The first option should always be training to correct your dogs behavior, but if that doesn't work there are now electronic barking collars available - however, I don't recommend these, for reasons I explain in my free ebook on Jack Russell training. It's best to try to use a few simple training methods first as a lot of "excessive" barking problems can be fixed fairly easily. Address the cause of the problem first, and look only to special collars as a last resort.
Different Types Of Barking
Not all barking is the same. Dogs bark for different reasons, so if you address the root cause of the barking, you may be able to reduce the problem even without training. Here are some of the possible causes of barking problems:
lack of exercise
lack of play and attention
Ask yourself if any of these may fit your dog. Do you leave your dog alone for long periods? Is there food or toys your dog can see but can't get to? Is there another dog within view of where your dog lives? Is your dog "wound up" by play, perhaps with children? Does your dog get plenty of walks and games (at least an hour of exercise a day), as well as touching and hugs? Any one of these factors can be easily changed to reduce barking problems.
Excessive barking is an addiction. The dog barks, it enjoys barking and gets attention from barking - so it keeps on barking. The behavior is self-reinforcing.
So the best method of dealing with barking is preventing the cycle of excessive barking from ever beginning. You can do this by interrupting the barking with a game. Whenever your dog starts to bark excessively, change its focus onto a toy and a game. Do this quickly and in a positive way. Yelling at your dog isn't going to work here.
Some dogs will bark like maniacs only in certain circumstances - for example, when you get the leash out to go for a walk. In this instance, put the leash back and wait until the dog is quiet, reward it, then bring the leash out again. You don't want to allow the dog to go nuts every time the leash comes out, as you'll end up going on some very noisy walks.
Others Tips To Stop Dogs Barking
First make sure you've identified and fixed any environmental factors that might be causing your dog to bark too much.
Make sure your dog gets at least an hour of exercise each day, as lack of exercise is the biggest cause of barking problems.
If all the environmental issues are fixed, make sure you don't reward the dog for barking by making a fuss over it.
Screaming "Be quiet" does not stop dogs barking - in fact it will probably make the problem worse.
Make sure the dog gets plenty of attention and games, and make sure there is nothing in the environment making it nervous or scared. Try using curtains or fences to block its view of things that might cause barking sprees.
Break off barking sessions by distracting the dog with a game.
There are chew toys you can buy with hollow spaces inside for food. Fill one of these up with peanut butter and throw it your your dog. A few of these can keep a dog quiet for hours.
Remember, you probably don't want your dog to stop from barking completely. There are some uses for a dog's bark - warning off burglars, for instance. The territoriality of Jack Russells does mean they are good guard dogs.
A lot of what some people consider to be "excessive" or "abnormal" amounts of barking are really just the standard amount of barking for the breed. For a Jack Russell, barking a lot is quite natural. So don't think there is something wrong with your dog. Still, that doesn't mean you should simply allow your dog to create noise pollution for you and your neighbours. Although barking is natural, it must be kept under control.
Collars, as I said, are a last resort. There are two main types, but they work on the same principle: they stop dogs barking by dishing out a punishment. Electic collars give your dog a small shock whenever it barks. Other collars are available that release a substance which smells foul to your dog, such as citronella, whenever it barks.
Excessive barking is often linked to other behavioral problems. If you've got a Jack Russell that is really out of control, The Jack Russell Lover's Ultimate Guide To Training may be the solution you need to stop dogs barking for good. It's a comphrensive guide that shows you simply how to train your dog in a positive way and get problems under control.